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Local Commentaries

Another Round Of Energy Pork

Christmas is upon us, and the elves are busy in the North Pole suburb of Capitol Hill. The House has produced a draft piece of “green energy” legislation that would yield massive costs, massive economic distortions and massive environmental damage. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-California, ...

How Big Is ‘Too Big?’

Ever since the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890, there has always been this question of how big corporations should become and what constitutes a “monopoly.” It has become part of our American experience that too much power aggregated in the hands of too few is not good for our economy or ...

A Notice Of Consent To Accept Refugees

President Trump signed Executive Order 13888 in September which requires states and localities to notify the State Department, in writing, of their consent to accept refugees. Governor Cuomo deserves credit for asserting New York State’s commitment to continuing America’s (and especially ...

The IRS Deserves Cheers, Not Jeers

America’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) struggles every day with an infernal problem. It’s expected to separate taxpayers from their hard-earned money and leave them feeling well-treated at the same time. They don’t feel well-treated, far from it. According to the 2019 report to ...

‘Trump Is America’ Shows A Lack Of Critical Thinking

The superficiality of Smith’s writing (”Realizing Trump Is America,” P-J, Nov. 16, 2019) is mind-boggling: stereotypical characterizations and platitudes, one upon another; lack of critical thinking about America, Americans, and President Trump in particular; and statements made without ...

A Quid Pro Quo To Be Worried About

There are quid pro quos and then there are quid pro quos. There is nothing inherently wrong or illegal about a quid pro quo. We engage in one every time we do a business transaction or agree to any other exchange. Some quid pro quos involve illegal quids or quos, but in those cases the ...

What Happens If Credit Unions’ Tax Exemption Gets Removed?

If you’re one of the 115 million credit union members, you may not even realize it but your credit union doesn’t pay federal income taxes. Federal law recognizes that credit unions operate in unique ways and so, on the principle that credit unions provide financial services in a ...

Good Intentions Aren’t Enough

In 2016, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law the $15 minimum wage, saying, “Economically, minimum wages may not make sense” but, “morally and socially and politically, they (minimum wages) make every sense.” It’s been three years since then, and despite the American ...

The Calming Effect Of Water

We have lived on the lake now for over 20 years. It is still hard for me to describe what it is like, but the word “calming” may be best. Of course, the lake is not always calm. Sometimes, when the winds come and are strong, the waves can wash out your dock. Water is not always your ...

How Much Time?

The value of Chautauqua Lake to the residents of the area in terms of beauty and recreation cannot be measured. But here is the situation now: In the summer, a lakefront home at Lakewood was rented for three months. A few days after the tenant moved in, the wind filled a nearby small bay ...

Chautauqua Lake: A Framework For Success

As a key economic driver for our county and one of our most valued natural resources, Chautauqua Lake boasts an array of engaged stakeholders ready to weigh in with opinions on how best to manage this most vital of shared resources. From the new Chautauqua Harbor Hotel and Webb’s Lodge at ...

A Human Approach To Capitalism

America and the world are facing a crisis of division. Left vs. right. Have vs. have not. Urban vs. rural. Us vs. them. Many blame capitalism for these ills. Left and right criticize capitalism for failing to serve their constituencies. More young people approve of socialism and disapprove ...

Realizing Trump Is America

I have struggled for some time to understand Donald Trump’s appeal, even before he ran for president. His wealthy businessman shtick always seemed so transparent to me. People cited his wealth as evidence he might manage a strong economy even back when he was rumored to run for Governor of ...

West Lake Sewer Extension

As with most public works, building sewers takes time. Time right now is being spent in preparing for construction bids for the sewer extension from the Ashville BOCES school up to Stow. The money (close to $17 million) is committed and now the exact route and location of pipes, pumping ...

Thanks To Trump, Seven Million Americans Have Quit Food Stamps

Exactly 36,029,506 Americans (18,230,968 households) were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), popularly known as food stamps, as of June 2019, according to the latest available government data. Although it may seem as though a rather large number of Americans ...

What Young People Need To Thrive

The United States was founded by people seeking relief from an oppressive political and economic system. Three stunningly prescient documents — the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights — made it clear that newly minted Americans valued the pursuit of ...

Reform Necessitates An Amendment

For nearly 30 years, the more rural counties of the Eighth Judicial District have been denied a sitting state Supreme Court Justice because of the logistics, expenses and political realities of being part of a sprawling district. Although the district, where I serve as Administrative ...

How Is Dumping The Electoral College A Big Winner For The Small States?

Nearly every 2020 Democratic presidential candidate has embraced it. Progressive media outlets like The Nation and Vox have endorsed it. Influential early-state Democrats like New Hampshire’s Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen are supporting it. Dumping America’s 230-year-old ...

Trump’s Success With Small Businesses Questioned

With his administration engulfed in legal and political crisis, President Donald Trump is almost certainly going to have to rely more and more on the relatively strong state of the economy – from relatively low unemployment to a robust stock market — to make his case for a second term in ...

The Mystique Of Living Here

It is not easy to describe the “mystique” of living around here, but you know it when you see it. I see it often in the morning when I pick up the paper at Hogan’s Hut and listen to the bevy of truck drivers, linemen, and construction hands talking as they purchase their morning ...